UK sanctions Russians, Saudis under new Magnitsky powers

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab reacts as he makes a statement on Hong Kong's national security legislation in London, Britain, July 1, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)

Foreign Secretary says the targeted those behind “some of the notorious human rights violations in recent years.”

Britain on Monday announced economic against individuals and organizations from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and North Korea under new U.K. powers to punish human-rights offenders.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the sanctions targeted those behind "some of the notorious human rights violations in recent years."

They include senior Saudi intelligence officials accused of involvement in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and Russian authorities implicated in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in a Moscow prison after exposing a tax fraud scheme involving Russian officials.

Also on the list of 49 individuals and organizations is Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the Myanmar armed forces, and Myanmar army commander Soe Win. They are accused of orchestrating systematic violence against Myanmar's Rohingya minority.

North Korean organizations -- the Ministry of State Security Bureau and the Ministry of People's Security Correctional Bureau -- were sanctioned for running prison camps in the authoritarian Communist state.

has previously imposed sanctions as part of the European Union or under the auspices of the United Nations. Since leaving the EU in January, it has implemented its own version of the United States' Magnitsky Act, which allows authorities to ban or seize assets of individuals guilty of human rights abuses.

The U.K. law authorizes the British government to prevent sanctioned individuals from entering the country, channeling money through British banks, or profiting from the U.K. economy.

"You cannot set foot in this country, and we will seize your blood-drenched ill-gotten gains if you try," Raab said in announcing the new sanctions.

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